A Tutorial Curriculum on Atlantis Principles
06- A TUTORIAL CURRICULUM ON ATLANTIS PRINCIPLES 1994, 2006
I. THE BASICS.
How might a college curriculum look, based on the Atlantis adaptation of the intensive tutorial mode of instruction originally developed in Oxford and Cambridge?
The aim of this program would be to provide a choice of teaching and learning styles, and, to reduce costs of teaching, research, and administration within a college or university.
The plan envisions the following changes in the responsibilities of participating faculty members and students.
Responsibilities of Tutorial Instructors
As adopted, the proposals would ensure that participating faculty members would:
· have a maximum of twenty-four students per term, in all classes, with seven classroom hours
· only teach students who have completed the basic course readings before the term begins · only read papers that have gone through a structured editorial process before submission
· have their own students working with them as teaching and/or research assistants.
Responsibilities of Students
Tutorial students would:
· decide on their tutorial course in the semester before participation
· complete the basic reading for the course in the preceding vacation, and take an entrance test (or present preliminary paper) to confirm adequate preparation for the course
· attend a ninety minute tutorial session each week, with their tutorial partner and two other students, while auditing other classes as appropriate· prepare or participate in the preparation of one tutorial paper each week of term, with the assistance of their tutorial partner
· develop a dossier of tutorial papers to be worked on throughout the term and even throughout the degree program, for assessment during the final grading in the program· participate in teaching and research teams directed by the tutor, and also in the administration of the program
II. THE ATLANTIS PROGRAM: A COLLEGE CATALOGUE
(This "College Catalogue" is intended to show how an Atlantis program could be incorporated into a prevailing college curriculum. (Note that the generic name "The Atlantis Program" reflects the fact that the program incorporates educational principles and methods from both sides of the Atlantic. )
The program set out here is intended to fulfill the following objectives:
_ give students a sustained experience of collaborative tutorial study, introducing them to a core curriculum of major texts, philosophical, historical, sociological, economic, literary, etc., in order to illustrate the development of western intellectual traditions from Plato to the present day.
With this as a basis, we offer instruction in a number of the traditional academic disciplines, up to honors degree standards
_ supplement the above with correlating experiences of the music, poetry, and visual arts of the period
_ shape the different programs in a fashion so that students may move between the tutorial college and regular lecture-based classes without undue difficulties
_ preserve a effective balance between comprehensiveness and depth in the shaping of the reading lists
_ be sensitive to human limits in respect of the effective absorption of, and response, to new, provocative, very stimulating, intellectual, social, and aesthetic experience.
The Study Program (Unusual, so please read carefully!)
Atlantis will offer you a mode of study which is very different from the programs at most American colleges and universities. It will make much greater demands upon you in certain respects, but at the same time it will offer you some uncommon advantages.
What are these greater demands --and advantages?
_ You will have a considerably longer academic year. The Full Terms (Sept-Dec, Jan-April) will be of normal length but the work for these terms will be prepared for by extensive reading periods (April-August and Dec-Jan.)
You should therefore be ready to supplement the normal seven-month academic year with three to four months of independent (though guided) reading. It is not necessary to be on campus during the reading periods. (On request, the Atlantis College will attempt to find you paid work compatiblewith your course of study.)
_ In place of the normal final exams in each course, there will be an entrance exam, to ensure that the preliminary readings have been sufficiently mastered. This will ensure that your own work in the class will not be held back by inadequately prepared classmates. Nor will the methods of preparation and development of the papers permit the dilution of standards resulting from the plagiarism afflicting other institutions. (The Center for Academic Integrity recently discovered that almost 80% of college students admit to cheating at least once. )
_ The main class work will be concentrated into ninety-minute tutorials, held once a week during Full Term. The tutorials will be limited to four students. In each class you will have the opportunity either to present a paper which you have written yourself or to be co-sponsor of a paper on which you have worked as researcher, editor, and introducer.
_ All papers you write for the Atlantis Program will beprepared on computer, and be edited by appropriate computer software: including spellcheck, thesaurus, editorial and bibliographic programs.
_ The tutorial papers will be placed in a portfolio and submitted to the tutors at the end of term for assessment. You will have the opportunity of improving on the initial version of the paper in response to the discussions in the tutorial, and in the light of further readings in your subject.
_ Your work in the program as a whole will culminate in a final exam, both written and oral, which will assess your understanding of all subjects studied in the tutorials. The exam will be administered by outside examiners but the final grade will also take into account your work in theportfolios and your tutor's assessments.
_ While your work will center on the tutorials, which will normally be weighted as 9-12 credits out of 15, your tutor may also advise your taking or auditing supplementary courses, following a video lecture series, computerized instruction, or the like.
_ There will also be opportunities at all levels for participation in college or university administration, for credit, or, in certain cases, on a salaried basis.
Credit may also be earned by taking:
_ administrative courses, which may involve activeresearch into administrative issues, _ research courses, which will involve participation in group research projects under the direction of the tutor, and
_ teaching courses, in which, as a senior (third year) student, you will participate in tutorial instruction of junior undergraduates.
The Philosophy of the Teaching Program.
The Atlantis program is on a practical level a response to the financial crisis that is now afflicting universities and colleges worldwide.
It is intended to draw upon and contribute student energies to the three basic operations of the university, teaching, research, administration. Without such measures it is by no means certain that universities can keep operating at current academic standards.
At the same time, this type of instruction gives increased opportunity to the student to take charge of his/her own studies, and to develop intellectual responsibility and initiative.
The cooperative aspect gives opportunity to contribute to and learn from the work of others in the group. The emphasis on effective communication and teamwork is aided by the extended opportunities for participation in academic dialogue, first in preliminary discussions with other tutorial partners, then in the more formal presentations and discussions in the tutorial itself.
At the same time, there will be sustained opportunities for writing in respect of informal email communication within the group, and well as in the preparation of the weekly tutorial essay.
Increasingly, the student will find himself/herself an active member of the Atlantis academic community, treated more like a contributing scholar and teacher than one of the crowd in the auditorium. The program is therefore not particularly suitable for students seeking the anonymity of the big university.
In respect of the emphasis on individual responsibility and initiative the program is also intended as an appropriate introduction to the increasingly competitive world of post-graduation career-building.
Most important of all, as an Atlantis student you will have the opportunity of working with a tutor and well-prepared classmates in a congenial setting. Your tutor will be teaching a maximum of twenty-four students, and therefore will have very adequate time to give you individual attention.
His research may well center on the area in which you yourself are studying. Your classmates, like yourself, will have plenty of time for concentration on the work at hand, and thus to achieve a level of excellence difficult to attain in large and impersonal lecture classes.
The Two Year Core Curriculum
All students in the college program follow the two-year core curriculum.
This consists of a series of readings from the central works of western civilization, from Plato to the presentday, in association with more specialized readings in one of the following fields, as available:
French Literature and Civilization,
Language subjects will be taught through bi-lingual tutorials where possible.
Texts for the Core Curriculum
The common texts for the core curriculum would include the two volume Introduction to Contemporary Civilization in the West,
The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, supplemented by the two volume
Chapters in Western Civilization.]
A Typical Option: The Program in English Literature
The four semesters of the program would cover the following periods:
Classical and Medieval,
Renaissance and Reformation
Enlightenment and Romanticism
The Nineteenth Century and After
1 Classical and Medieval
1.1 Core readings from Plato, Aristotle, Vergil, New Testament, Augustine, Aquinas, Dante; texts illustrative of medieval culture and society.
1.2 Eng. Lit. readings from Beowulf, Chaucer, the Gawain Poet.
1.3 Sounds and images from classical and medieval civilization.
2 Renaissance and Reformation
2.1 Core readings from Commines, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Rabelais, Cervantes, Luther, Calvin, Bacon, Descartes, The Cromwellian Debates
2.2 Eng Lit readings from Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton
2.3 Sounds and images from the Renaissance and the Reformation.
3 Enlightenment and Romanticism
3.1 Core readings from Hobbes, Locke, Voltaire, Diderot, Hume, Kant, Rousseau, Goethe
3.2 English Literature readings from Dryden, Pope, Defoe, Johnson, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge,
3.3 Sounds and images from the Enlightenment and Romantic periods.
4 The Nineteenth Century and After
4.1 Core readings from texts of the French Revolution and its aftermath, from Adam Smith, Malthus, Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Russell
4.2 Readings from Shelley, Keats, Carlyle, Tennyson,Browning, Conrad, Yeats, Joyce, Eliot
4.3 Sounds and Images from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
The Second Year Exam
The normal exam period at the end of term will be used for the completion and primary assessment of the term's portfolios. In place of the end of term exams, at the end of the second year there will be an exam consisting of a three-hour paper on each of the four periods under study, followed by an hour's oral exambased on the exam papers and the student's portfolio.
The examination will be conducted in part by outside examiners. The examiners will look, the first instance, for a wide experience of the set texts as well as appropriate acquaintance with supplementary material of the student's own choosing. Secondly, they will appreciate evidence of a deeper understandingof a more limited number of texts that have been central to the student's interests in the readings.
The papers will give opportunity for discussion of topics that span more than one of the set periods.The examiners will provide specimen papers to illustrate theirmethods of examination and assessment.
The Third Year
The third year will give opportunity for a less restricted range of activities, and will be planned individually with the student. There will be five main categories of study to chose between:
_ Participation in a research tutorial in an area of mutual interest to the tutor and the tutorial group, for the writing of an honors paper
_ Participation in a "professional research tutorial" with a qualified professional in any appropriate field, under the general supervision of your academic tutor.
_ The instruction, as an undergraduate tutor, of a junior tutorial group
_ Filling any gaps in the two year program through tutorials, guided reading or regular classes (eg. readings in American literature, literary criticism etc. in the case of a student in English Literature).